My Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake is an old-fashioned cake made with rolled oats and a delicious coconut almond topping. As they say, “an oldie, but a goodie”!

This recipe comes straight from my grandmother’s recipe box, and it’s been one of our family’s favorites for decades! Other recipes I love that came from my grandmother include: Baked Rice Pudding, Fresh Apple Cake, and Peach Cobbler.

A slice of oatmeal cake on a white plate, with a fork, and I bite taken out of it.

Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake

I have so much love for this delicious cake! It’s in a league of it’s own as far as taste–it’s uniquely delicious, and most people haven’t tried it before and go crazy for it! I think the best part is the coconut/almond topping that gets broiled at the end. It adds a sweet crunch that pairs so well with the extra moist oatmeal cake.

How to make perfect oatmeal cake:

  • Add oatmeal and butter to a bowl and pour boiling water on top. Set aside.
  • Combine wet ingredients. In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar and beat well.
  • Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the bowl with wet sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add oatmeal mixture and stir to combine.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Four process photos with text on them for making oatmeal cake. A mixing bowl the oatmeal, butter and boiling water, another bowl with sugars and egg, flour added to the bowl and then the oatmeal mixture added.

  • Make the coconut frosting. While the cake is baking, make the topping by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Broil. Remove the cake from the oven and turn the oven to high broil.  Spread the topping evenly over the warm cake and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown.

Baked oatmeal cake in a glass 9x13 inch dish next to the cake with coconut almond topping added on top.

Making Oatmeal Cake Ahead of Time:

This cake can definitely be made in advance. In fact, it tastes just as good if not better made one day ahead of time.  Allow it to cool to room temperature and store it on the counter tightly, covered in tinfoil.

A pan of oatmeal cake with coconut almond topping, cut into squares.

TWO Things that set this recipe apart from the others:

  1. No quick-cooking oats.  You’ll notice many recipes call for quick oats.  I think true old-fashioned oatmeal cake deserves old-fashioned rolled oats.  Plus the texture and flavor are better with rolled oats.
  2. Coconut Almond topping.  I love the flavor and crunch of the chopped almonds in the topping. You could also use walnuts (walnuts were used more often in my Grandma’s day), but I like the almonds better for this cake.

Oatmeal cake served on a white plate with a fork, on a white marble board.

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Recipe

A slice of oatmeal cake on a white plate, with a fork, and I bite taken out of it.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 50 minutes
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Ingredients
  

For the topping

  • 6 Tablespoons butter , room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13'' pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the oatmeal and butter to a bowl and pour boiling water on top. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add to the bowl with eggs and sugars and stir to combine. 
  • Add the oatmeal mixture and stir to combine. 
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, make the topping by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and turn the oven to high broil. 
  • Spread the topping evenly over the warm cake and place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown.

Notes

This cake tastes great made 1-2 days in advance, if you'd like!  It's perfect for bringing to potlucks and parties! 

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 298mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 2gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 385IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1.5mg

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I originally shared this recipe July 2015. Updated August 2019.

Grandma's Oatmeal Cake-- seriously one of the best cakes ever. Super moist with a delicious coconut almond topping. Recipe from TastesBetterFromScratch.com

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I love old fashioned oatmeal cake and want to try this but grandson has a nut/peanut allergy. Any suggestions for altering topping?

    1. For the oatmeal cake topping, since your grandson has a nut/peanut allergy, you can easily modify it by leaving out the nuts. The topping will still be delicious with the butter, coconut, evaporated milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. If you want to add a bit of texture similar to nuts, you might consider using seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds, if those are safe for him. These can provide a nice crunch without the allergen concerns. Enjoy baking the oatmeal cake, and I hope it turns out wonderfully for you and your grandson!

  2. 2 stars
    I made this with the wrong kind of oats, too soft. I found the amount of milk too much and the pan too big. I usually use an 8X8 but this recipe called for 9 X 13. Way too thin, not enough coconut and nuts to cover. Back to my old recipe

  3. Just a note of warning – NEVER put Pyrex or any glass baking dishes under a broiler they can shatter and explode under the high heat

  4. Could you bake this in 9×5 Loaf Pan?

    My mom made one similar and used loaf pan. But I lost her recipe. She also did a coconut -nut frosting on top, put under broiler.

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